Happy May! Not only is this my favorite month (because it may or may not be my birth month), but it is also NATIONAL MICROCHIP YOUR PET MONTH! Therefore, I will unabashedly take this opportunity to stand on a small soapbox to talk about chipping your sweet, darling, beloved pet.
Did you know that the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (our local animal shelter) takes in over 2,000 animals a year? A LARGE number of these animals were found as strays, and unfortunately, for one reason or another, not reunited with their owners.
Did you also know that the very first thing that happens when a stray animal is brought to a shelter or veterinary office is a microchip scan? That’s right! Vets and shelter workers WANT to reunite you with your lost pet! So what better way to do so than with a permanently attached chip?
If you’re unfamiliar with microchips, here is a 30 second lowdown:
Microchips are implantable computer chips that encode a unique ID number that is assigned to you and all your contact information. They are approximately the size of a grain of rice and are implanted between your pet’s shoulder blades, just under the skin, with a needle- this is a 5 second implantation and is essentially painless (although some pets are bigger babies than others). They work by receiving a radio signal from a scanner, and transmitting the encoded chip ID number back to the scanner – so cool, right?!
The super cool part about a microchip is that unlike a collar or ID tag, they don’t break or fall off, and cannot be removed by an unsavory character.
According to a 2009 study by a lovely veterinarian in Ohio, dogs with microchips are about 2.5 times more likely to be returned to their owners if lost, while cats are a whopping 20 times more likely!
It’s not quite enough to simply get your pet chipped. The two most important things to remember are: you have to register your chip, and you have to keep your information up to date. Otherwise, they’re pretty useless.
SO, here is what I am hoping you take away from this short yet incredibly informative article:
- Get your pet chipped!
- If you see a stray dog or cat, please take it to a vet or shelter to be scanned for a chip, OR call animal control